BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE:BHP) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Vetr from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. They presently have a $35.05 target price on the mining company’s stock. Vetr‘s target price points to a potential upside of 8.92% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on BHP. Argus upgraded BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research report on Monday, August 29th. Jefferies Group upgraded BHP Billiton from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $28.00 to $33.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of BHP Billiton in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Finally, Macquarie upgraded BHP Billiton from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.06.

BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) traded up 3.57% on Wednesday, reaching $32.18. 3,135,904 shares of the company traded hands. BHP Billiton has a 52-week low of $18.46 and a 52-week high of $38.10. The stock’s market capitalization is $85.63 billion. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $31.17 and a 200 day moving average price of $28.79.

The company also recently declared a semiannual dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, September 20th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.28 per share. This represents a dividend yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of BHP. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd raised its position in BHP Billiton by 2,730.8% in the second quarter. Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd now owns 26,407,326 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $1,116,711,000 after buying an additional 25,474,458 shares during the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in BHP Billiton by 148.5% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,662,710 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $43,064,000 after buying an additional 993,690 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its position in BHP Billiton by 54.5% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,233,844 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $35,238,000 after buying an additional 434,999 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its position in BHP Billiton by 22.2% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 684,315 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $17,723,000 after buying an additional 124,520 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its position in BHP Billiton by 4.7% in the second quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 638,699 shares of the mining company’s stock valued at $18,241,000 after buying an additional 28,920 shares during the last quarter. 4.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton Limited is a global resources company. The Company is engaged in exploration, development, production, processing and marketing of minerals, such as iron ore, metallurgical and energy coal, copper, aluminum, manganese, uranium, nickel, silver and potash. It is also engaged in exploration, development, production and marketing of conventional and unconventional oil and gas.

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